The North Greenville University (NGU) Board of Trustees held their fall meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22. A healthy and supportive Board affirmed the accomplishments of the NGU community and leadership. After navigating a successful in-person fall semester, the University celebrated the opening of Neves Hall and the IT Center.
“No one on our Board foresaw the challenges that 2020 would bring, but none of us are surprised either at how faithful God has been to North Greenville University during this time,” said NGU Board Chair Dr. Travis Agnew (’03). “Our work together during the meeting highlighted that the university is doing great at accomplishing our task of equipping students to be transformational leaders of church and society.”
Chair Agnew began the meeting by sharing student success stories and connecting the Board's work to their stories, which included service overseas, in local government, in places of worship, and in positions of transformational leadership.
After an operational and financial review of NGU and its academic, business, and strategic initiatives, the Board approved several items.
2019-2020 Audit Report
The Board received the final audit report from Capin Crouse, LLP, for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Taborah Miley and Ian Ferguson presented the audit to the Board. The information included both a clean opinion from the auditors and a positive financial health summary, which helps policymakers assess the University's financial resources status. The Board determined the University is financially healthy and in a better position than at the start of the year, particularly in markers of long-term financial strength. “Working with Capin Crouse, North Greenville University has been able to improve its audit process and has obtained valuable insights into its financial processes and performance,” said Interim Senior Vice President for Finance Michael Stowell.
NGU 2025: Foundation for the Future
A report of significant progress was given on the strategic plan. NGU 2025 includes overarching priorities that guide and shape the work of the University until 2025. The plan reinforces the University's commitment to its shared mission and core values; evaluate, strengthen, and expand the University's academic, ministry, and co-curricular programs; strengthen the University's financial position while developing its physical, technological, and human resources; expand opportunities for the University's regional, national, and global engagement; and review, enhance, and strengthen the University's business operations, policies, and procedures.
“I’m a deep believer that one of the distinctive elements of Christianity is the belief in intentionality that is framed within God’s Providence. We do not believe that things happen by accident or coincidence. The Scriptures make it clear that we are to plan—with a strong assertion of “if God wills”—in order to be good stewards of the good things that God has provided for us,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “This strategic plan is both bold and reasonable, visionary and practical. As we have seen God’s hand in the development of the plan; we now see God’s Providence as it unfolds.”
2020-2021 Tuition & Fees
NGU worked hard to deliver the lowest tuition rate adjustment in recent school history of 1.9%. The program prices for 2020-2021 were approved unanimously. NGU remains one of the most affordable private universities in the region and continues to be the least expensive Baptist college in South Carolina. “We believe in growing student capabilities and faith not their debt,” said, President Fant.
Trustees unanimously approved granting degrees to 201 students that fulfilled requirements for conferral for December 2020 Commencement. Even though December 2020 graduates faced strong challenges caused by Covid-19 lockdowns, they overcame those challenges and finished strong. In May, members of the Class of 2020 were given an opportunity to pick-up their regalia and diploma at a Drive-Thru Pick-Up event hosted by the Office of Student Services. Graduates were also given three options to experience a college graduation ceremony. Nearly 80 graduates of the Class of 2020 and close friends and family gathered in Younts Stadium on campus during a homecoming outdoor commencement ceremony on Sat., Oct. 17.
During lunch, the University honored expiring term Board members. The Board members are Dr. Travis Agnew from Greenville, Rev. Seth Buckley from Moore, Rebecca Coleman from Dillon, James M. Cudd from Gaffney, and Claude Tackett from Hanahan.
Also, Chair Agnew was honored by the Board of Trustees with the Betty Jo Craft Service Award. The award, established in 2019, is voted on by and presented to a board member who has made a long-term, consistent commitment that is extraordinary and has had a visible impact or result directly related to NGU's mission.
“I was surprised and humbled that the Board would honor me with such a meaningful recognition. Betty Jo Craft sat beside me during my first year as a board member. She was the oldest in the room, and I was the youngest. She guided me along the way, and I witnessed an incredible legacy in how she has served this university for years,” said Agnew. “To sit beside her was an honor, and to receive a reward with her name is beyond gracious. I am thankful to her and this Board for such a kind gesture.”
Election of 2020-2021 Board Officers
Subsequent to the October 22 meeting, the Board elected three individuals to serve as its officers in 2020: Dr. Mike Hamlet (chair), Mandie Boyd (vice-chair), and Shana Sands (secretary).
“It is a great privilege for me to serve as the Board chair for the coming year. Our board is comprised of gifted people who love and appreciate North Greenville,” said incoming NGU Board chair Dr. Mike Hamlet. “When you look at how God is using Dr. Fant, our executive team, our faculty and staff, our student body, and the North Greenville family at large, it is obvious that “Christ makes the Difference!” We are confident that the best is yet to be and we are very excited about what the Lord has in store for this great university as we grow together.”